Take a step down Boston’s memory lane with our weekly nostalgia column

Willit the swift snuggles under his rescuer Dave's chin ' resembling a kind of dicky-bird dicky-bow ' and showing a wingspan of about 16 inches.
Willit the swift snuggles under his rescuer Dave's chin ' resembling a kind of dicky-bird dicky-bow ' and showing a wingspan of about 16 inches.

45 years ago...1966

A TEN-year-old boy started swimming lessons just hours after being rescued from drowning.

Mark Beasley, of Woad Farm Road, was pulled from the Maud Foster Drain after he had fallen from the Windsor Bank Footbridge.

He had gone fishing with friends and was trying to cross the drain hand-over-hand beneath the bridge when he fell.

He was rescued by 18-year-old Paul Tebbs, of Taverner Road, Boston, who was passing at the time and dived in to save the boy.

Some hours later, Mark was taking lessons in the learner’s enclosure at Boston Swimming Pool.

THE proposed one-way traffic system for Boston’s Market place was proving to be controversial with a petition of 1,000 signatures showing the public’s disapproval of the scheme.

Stallholders also grouped together to form a collective protest.

The plan, to see stalls grouped together in the centre of the town with one-way traffic either side, was described as an ‘accident hazard’ by protesters.

HARRY and Kathleen King and their four children spent a Sunday night in police cells in Wales – but thankfully only as guests.

The family were caught up in the Pembroke storm disaster which saw 120mph winds sink boats, turn over cars and caravans, collapse tents and see the river burst its banks.

Mr and Mrs King and children Susan, eight, Douglas, six, Nicholas, five, and Richard, 22 months, were caught in the middle of it – in their tent – which collapsed on their heads.

They escaped by car to the next town and were given shelter at the police station before returning home the next day.

WHEN Boston fisherman Bernie Cartwright pulled his nets in while working in the Wash he thought he was on to something good.

It felt like the catch of a lifetime – but it could have cost him his life. Bernie had pulled in a 500lb unexploded bomb which had laid at the bottom of the sea for more than 20 years.

He had no idea what the foot-long cylinder was and planned to sell it for scrap metal until he retuned to Boston Dock and panic ensued. Police and an Army bomb disposal squad were called out to deal with the metal device.

35 years ago...1976

POLICE were investigating reports of a strange animal seen at the side of the road at Gosberton Westhorpe on a Friday night.

The creature was described as a ‘sandy brown animal the size of a large cat with a cat’s head and eyes but the body of a dog. It had a short tail with black rings around it’.

A police spokesman said they were not connecting the incident with reports of a lioness being sighted in Nottinghamshire.

LEVERTON Fire Station made an urgent appeal for more retained firefighters as numbers were down by half.

Divisional commander W. W. D. Newell, based at Boston, said they only had six firemen but needed 12 to cover an area including Wrangle, Wrangle Common, Old Leake and Benington.

The situation was made all the more urgent by the drought conditions and the increased risk of crop fires.

DOGS took over at the children’s pet show organised by The Standard and the RSPCA at Boston’s Conway School.

Around 30 pooches were shown off by the pupils, along with some cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, a canary and one mouse.

25 years ago...1986

A HUBBERTS Bridge family of five were counting their blessings that they were out visiting relatives when a fierce, uncontrollable fire ravaged their bungalow.

Shell-shocked owner Alan Purser said: “The only way to look at this tragedy is that at least we are all safe – we can rebuild the house but you can’t replace a life.”

Mr Purser, his wife Priscilla and their three children had to find alternative accommodation after their Frampton Lane bungalow was left a charred shell.

The blaze was caused by an electrical fault. Four fire crews tackled the flames but could not bring the fire under control.

THREE weeks of sleepless nights to feed a baby swift screeching for food ended in success for Boston police inspector Dave Broome.

He released the bird three weeks to the day that his son found the helpless fledgling in the street and brought him back home.

Thanks to its specially prepared home-made diet of dried water flies, minced morsels and the occasional dose of vitamins and cod liver oil, the hand-reared swift winged its way up the road, climbed to rooftop height and flew off into the summer sky.

Dave nicknamed the bird ‘Willit’ – ‘will it fly or won’t it’? “It was such a relief to see it fly off so strongly.” he said.

15 years ago...1996

HUMAN skeletons were discovered during a routine archaeological dig at Boston Grammar School in preparation for the building of a new art block.

The archaeologists thought the skeletons were medieval and the area which they were found was part of a cemetery which belonged to the friaries known to have been in the area.

EXCITEMENT was building over plans for a massive £35 million development which could create 600 new jobs.

The plans were for disused land next to Boston railway station and included a supermarket, garden centre and shops.

The land, based on 7.7 hectares of old British Rail property and the former gas works, was earmarked by a development company from Market Harborough in an application for planning permission.

LOCAL anglers were fishing for clues as to where all the water had gone on a stretch of the North Forty Foot Drain near Sleaford Road, Boston.

The Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board had carried out maintenance works on the bank but the local anglers were claiming the job was botched after discovering bream and other large fish floundering in the shallow water as the level was lowered to carry out the work. Before the plug was pulled, the drainage board called in contractors to temporarily stun fish and scoop them to safety on the other side of a temporary dam.

Concerned angler Barry Mallet called the Environment Agency to help rescue some of the larger fish which were resistant to the stun charge and subsequently left behind.

FAREWELLS were said to Boston teacher Jean Green when she retired after 19 years with Boston West School.

Jean also taught at other schools during her career including Carlton Road and then Woad Farm.